Category Archives: Designing Discipleship Systems

MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF CHURCH?

Tom Rainer identifies a number of ways that Churches die, but I wonder if it is possible to arrange churches in a hierarchy similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If the model works, a church will need to grow through … Continue reading

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Kaskaskia River District Leadership Training on Evangelism

It was a great blessing to be invited to share on the topic of “Helping My Small Church To Grow” at Albion UMC and Salem Grace UMC on the last two Sunday afternoons of January, 2015. What I shared is … Continue reading

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How Can We Measure Disciple Making?

In another Facebook conversation, a pastor quite correctly observed that it is very difficult to measure “making disciples” – so we default to counting “warm bottoms in pews.” And that the conversation on “making disciples” will be frustrating until we … Continue reading

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Teenage angst … the spiritual version.

If we consider human psychological development to also describe spiritual development – some have written on this already – the movement described in Matthew Lee Anderson’s article and Scot McKnight’s blog is the loud, wrangling voice of adolescence busy differentiating … Continue reading

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Pastoral Leadership at the Midsize Church – attendance 300-800

This provocative video challenges a lot of common understandings about what is required in pastoral leadership of churches with an average attendance of 300-800. Bill & Kris Tenny-Brittian call this a “mid-size” church. I prefer Herb Miller’s classifications of mid-size as between … Continue reading

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Beyond the Megachurch Myths

Ed Stetzer recently corrected some common misunderstandings about megachurches, sharing information from Scott Thumma, one of the top megachurch researchers in the country, and author (with Dave Travis) of the book Beyond Megachurch Myths. Stetzer comments (in italics here) on nine … Continue reading

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"Spiritual but not Religious" – Leafing and Leaving

To be a member means to be connected – to truly be a member of a church means being connected to Christ both directly and through a body of believers. When you are connected to the body, life giving blood … Continue reading

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The Problem With Traditional Spiritual Disciplines and Disciple Making

Faith communities practice spiritual disciplines. Traditional spiritual disciplines are well defined by Richard J. Foster in Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998). Foster identifies twelve spiritual disciplines divided into three groups. Internal disciplines include: Meditation, … Continue reading

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What is a Discipleship System?

Craig Miller defines a faith community as made up of two cooperative, interacting components: worship and a discipleship system: The primary evangelistic strategy of the 21st century is the establishment of new faith communities . . . A faith community is … Continue reading

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"I don't need the Church to be a follower of Jesus!"

Question: I had someone say to me, “I don’t need the Church to be a follower of Jesus!” What is your take on this? Well … Jesus said we would have to bear a cross if we truly desired to … Continue reading

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